Logical Levels re alignment
with Jimmy Petruzzi
- Who you really are and what you really want?
- If someone was to ask you that question what would you answer be?
- Think about how would you explain who you were?
Time to get a pen and paper out and answer the questions in the tables below.
Six Logical Levels
|Level||Questions corresponding to logical levels|
|Spirituality/Purpose||This can be viewed as your connection to a wider purpose. What is your sense of purpose on a personal level? Why are you here? What is your sense of purpose professionally? Why do you do what you do? What is the meaning of your existence both personally and professionally?|
|Identity/Mission||Who are you as an individual? Who are you to different people? Who are you professionally? Are you achieving your purpose? How do you think of yourself on a personal level? And professionally? – i.e. I am a intelligent person, attractive person, good person|
|Beliefs and Values||Why do you do what you do? Personally? And professionally? What do you believe about yourself personally and professionally? On a personal level? What are you key values personally? And professionally? You may believe you are an excellent public speaker. Or you may value honesty. From a professional perspective, you may value good excellent client care and/or the best interest of people you speak to.|
|Capabilities/Strategies||How do you go about doing things? Personally? And professionally? What are your personal and professional capabilities, skills, strategies or action plans?|
|Behaviours|| What are your behaviours?
|Environment||Where? When? With Whom? Where, when and with who do you display your behaviours? Personally? Professionally? What are the external influences on you?|
To gain an appreciation of how these logical levels work, assume it is 9pm on a Saturday night and you are with your friends at your regular night spot (environment).
1) You see someone you’re attracted to and want to ask him/her on a date, some possible choices are: you could go up to the person and introduce yourself. You could do a hand stand to gain their attention. You could start shouting and acting silly – with the hope a door person would take you out of the night club, so you don’t have to ask the person out.
2) The behaviour you select depends on your capabilities/strategies. If you’re confident going up to the person asking them on a date, then this is certainly a possibility. On the other hand, your strategy may be to do a hand stand to attract attention from the person they might be impressed and approach you. Or you might start screaming and acting silly so the door person will escort you out and you have an excuse for not asking the person out consciously or unconsciously.
3) The capability/strategy you choose will depend on your beliefs and values. If you believe that you are attractive, witty fun person and have allot to offer that person if they went out on a date with you. Then you would more than likely go up to the person and ask them out. If you felt you were inadequate and a person like that would never go out with a person like you (even without asking them) you may look for the exit strategy. Your beliefs and values are determined by your identity. If you see yourself as an attractive person, then it is very possible that you would hold the belief that you interest the other person in going out with you or finding someone suitable to you which will.
4) Your identity is dependent on your purpose in life – the impact that you wish to have on your community, etc. Contribution, having fun, enjoying yourself.
Logical levels is for long lasting sustainable change Sustainable Change.
Making a change at a lower level (i.e. environment — going to a different night spot) may, but not necessarily, affect an upper level. However, a change at an upper level (i.e. belief) will have a distinct impact on the levels below it, as illustrated in the above example.
Using Logical Levels to Explain/Understand Change
The above leads to a number of interesting explanations/discoveries:
Short-term vs. long-term change: Sometimes people find that attending a seminar, buying a book, seeing a coach worked great at changing an unwanted behaviour for a short period of time, and eventually the unwanted behaviour returned. How can this be? If the new behaviour was not in alignment with the person’s beliefs and values or identity, the higher level would override the lower level.
For change at the behaviour level to be long-term, the desired behaviour change must either be in alignment with the higher levels or the change must take place at a high level i.e. identity.
Have you ever made some changes?
Bought a new sports car? Purchased some new clothes. Started socialising in a different area, this is change at the level of environment. Do you think it will be long-lasting? Only if the change is in alignment with the higher levels. Or maybe you start going to the gym and get in tip top shape (behaviour) learn some dating techniques to approach the people (capability/strategy). Though still change doesn’t last, you may feel better about yourself for short period of time though go back to how you perceived yourself before.
Health/Career: Suppose you have a goal for yourself (health, career, and it is not in alignment with one of the higher levels. How successful do you think you will be in achieving your goal? For example, I know many people who like the idea of doing things, as we discussed earlier in the chapter though actually doing it is no what they want. I.e. they like the idea of being a pop star because they think it will bring them fame and fortune. Though they don’t like the idea of working hard going on tour. Or learning to play instrument, work on their singing, starting out playing to potential audiences of a few people.
“The problems of today can only be solved at a higher level of thinking than that which created them” – Albert Einstein:
I have heard many people refer to this quote and few can explain how you can actually do it (i.e. move to a higher level of thinking). Using logical levels, you can easily explain it. For example, if there is a problem at the behavioural level, to solve it we must move to at least the capability/strategy level. NLP can assist you in making change at the higher levels (beliefs and values, identity and spirituality/purpose) or can help you to ensure that your goals are aligned at all levels. Once this happens, your goals in life often become clear and obtained effortlessly.
Spirituality/Purpose, Identity/Mission, Beliefs and Values, Capabilities/Strategies, Behaviours and Environment. In this chapter, we present other ways to look at the logical levels and an exercise to assist you with achieving personal congruence – all of the levels are in alignment.
Getting to Know another Person through logical levels
If you really want to get to know another person
You can only observe two of the logical levels of another person – behaviour and environment. You can observe what they are doing and when, where and with whom. This will give you some idea as to their capabilities/strategies, beliefs and values, etc. To really be sure, you need to engage them in a conversation on these subjects. Having conversations with another person at the higher logical levels provides you with a more intimate understanding of that person and why they behave the way they do. How often do you have a conversation with someone you really care about and the topic is the weather (environment) or what they are doing (behaviour) rather than who they see themselves being (identity/mission) or what are their beliefs and values. And to engage in this type of conversation, you need to create a space where each of you feels safe in disclosing your ‘inner selves’.
Using logical levels to identify were conflicts exist professionally or personally
- How many people take a job only to realise they are not suitable, it’s not what they want to do, it’s not for them.
- How many organisations have deep divisions between management and staff?
- How many of the worlds problems and conflicts exist because misalignment of the higher logical levels.
A number of years ago, I conducted a study as to why a certain fitness organisation was not retaining its staff and client members. Their policy was to attract new members and as many as possible and in doing that, they were neglecting customer care of existing members, the equipment wasn’t being maintained, the showers weren’t being cleaned as often as they should, facilities were being run down. Discounts were being offered for new people to join the gym though not existing members. The gym staffs were not being sent on training courses to increase their knowledge. The gym staff was also asked to work longer hours and spend less time looking after members, i.e. writing training programmes, health checks were abolished, the ethos of the organisation had changed.
As you may expect, most of the fitness staff had difficulty with the changes. Staff and members leaving the organisation, before proceeding, let’s have a look at this situation through the lens of the NLP Logical Levels.
Health and Fitness staff:
Spirituality/Purpose (connection to a larger system): Make a significant contribution to the community of people who require assistance and support to get in good shape and wellbeing.
Identity/Mission: Well trained fitness professional that can assist people in to get in good shape increase well being.
Beliefs and Values: He/she has the fitness skills and abilities to assist others. Another important belief held by many of the fitness staff is that they think it’s important they right fitness programmes for members, monitor programmes, do health checks rather than spend time doing other duties such as admin, sales, (the fitness staff said they didn’t go into the industry to spend high proportion of time doing sales and administration.
Capabilities/Strategies: Many positive capabilities/strategies for designing fitness programmes, health checks. Less than supportive (in some cases dysfunctional) capabilities/strategies for Administration, sales.
Behaviours: The behaviours of a competent confident, motivated, fitness professional when working in a gym environment. Distressed behaviours when asked to perform in a ‘sales environment’ — in some cases, fed up feel like walking out.
Environment: gym fitness or a sales environment.
From a logical levels point of view, you can see why staff and member retention was a problem?
You had an organisation driven to get as many paying new members on board as possible, neglecting existing members who also pay, somewhere along the way, the organisation had lost its key priority and focus on providing a service their staff could be proud of to offer their members.
Which conflicts with some excellent key members of staff at a higher logical level?
(Keeping a paying member is as good as attracting a new member)
Could you use a similar approach with your family, your staff or co-workers that would allow them to see the situation differently and to draw on their strengths to overcome a perceived obstacle?
Aligning Logical Levels for Personal Congruence
For many of us, the logical levels operate outside of our conscious awareness. Whether we are aware of them or not, they have a significant influence over the quality of our lives.
The following exercise will help you to: 1. become consciously aware of what factors influence how you live your life. 2. Identify possible conflicts. 3. Recognize possible changes you can make to bring the levels more in alignment and hence achieve a higher level of personal congruence (reduced inner conflict). I suggest you take your time doing this exercise and write down your answers.
Spirituality/Purpose: For the larger system (i.e. family, co-workers, people needing your service/product, community,), what is your purpose or the impact you wish to have?
Identity/Mission: Who are you or what role do you play? Is it the role necessary to achieve your purpose? What do you need to change?
Beliefs and Values: What beliefs do you have about yourself, about others, about the world in general? Do these beliefs support you in fulfilling your role? What do you value – in yourself, others, the world in general? Are these values in alignment with your role? Are there other beliefs and values that you could take on that would be more in alignment?
Capabilities/Strategies: What capabilities/strategies/action plans do you have? Do you need to develop new capabilities, strategies or action plans? Are they in alignment with each of the above logical levels? If not, what needs to be changed? Maybe you need to change your capabilities (get more training), your strategies or action plans. Or maybe, given this new information, you need to reassess your purpose, your role or your beliefs and values.
Behaviours: What do people really see/experience in your behaviours? Are your behaviours in alignment with each of the above logical levels? Does something need to be changed?
Environment: When, where, with whom do you do these behaviours? Are they in alignment with the above logical levels?
Aligning Your Goals with Your Logical Levels
Many peoples goals (career, family, romance, health, purpose in life,) are based on the requests, desires or expectations of others – parents, spouse, teachers, religious leaders, boss, society, These are not our goals and hence do not have the energy that propels us forward to truly achieve our goals. When we struggle with our goals, almost always there is some hidden inner conflict that must be resolved. Often we are less then fully alive because of these inner conflicts. The following exercise will assist you in identifying these conflicts and realigning your goal with who you really are.
Think about your goal and answer the same questions for the logical levels as you did above. Notice if there is an alignment between the answers. For example you may find that achieving your goal would take time away from being with your spouse and children (assuming this is an important value for you). If this is the case, is there some way to adjust your goal or your strategies/action plan to spend time with your family and still achieve your goal? You may wish to ask those affected by your goal, as they often come up with solutions that you would never think of.
This process will allow you to become aware of the alignment (or lack of it) between your inner self and your goals. As you fine-tune your goals and align them with your inner self, you should find that your goals become clearer, more compelling and more easily achieved. You have a stronger sense of fulfilment and understanding or your life.